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A technique for autonomous underwater vehicle route planning

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1 Author(s)
Warren, C.W. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Alabama Univ., Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

If an underwater vehicle is to be completely autonomous, it must have the ability to plan paths around obstacles in order to operate safely. Many solutions to the problem of planning the path of a robot around obstacles have been proposed, but all are limited in some way. An algorithm using artificial potential fields to aid in path planning is presented. The planning consists of applying potential fields around obstacles and using these fields to select a safe path. The advantage of using potential fields is that they offer a relatively fast and effective way to solve for safe paths. A trial path is chosen and then modified under the influence of the potential field until an appropriate path is found. By considering the entire path, the problem of being trapped in a local minimum is greatly reduced, allowing the method to be used for global planning. The algorithm was tried with success on many different planning problems. The examples provided illustrate the algorithm's application to two- and three-dimensional planning problems

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 3 )